Canadian university reduces emissions while levels rise for City

Nick Fetty | June 24, 2014
Ontario Hall (left) and Grant Hall (right) on the Queen's University campus in Kingston, Ontario. Photo by Aidan Wakely-Mulroney; Flickr
Ontario Hall (left) and Grant Hall (center) on the Queen’s University campus in Kingston, Ontario.
Photo by Aidan Wakely-Mulroney; Flickr

Greenhouse gas emissions have fallen by 10 percent (compared to 2010 levels) at Queen’s University while emissions for the City of Kingston – home to Queen’s University – have risen.

The 2011-2012 Queen’s University Greenhouse Gas Inventory analyzes greenhouse gas emissions from 2008 to 2012. The report shows that emission levels have decreased by more than 20 percent since 2008 when data was first collected. Aaron Ball – Sustainability Coordinator at Queen’s University – noted out that “the decrease in emissions from 2010 to 2011 is largely due to a cleaner electricity supply in Ontario, while the uptick in 2012 is attributable to the weather.”

The City of Kingston drafted a Climate Action Plan in 2014 which aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 350,000 tons by the year 2030. The City has implemented several carbon-reducing measures including: facility retrofits, adopting a green building plan, constructing five LEED facilities, and installing 11 solar projects.

Queen’s University is a public research institute with just over 23,000 students located in Kingston, Ontario, about 100 miles north of Syracuse, New York. Kingston has a population of 123,363 according to the 2011 Census.

World’s first waste-to-biofuels facility opens in Canada

Nick Fetty | June 6, 2014

This week, the world’s first municipal facility that converts household garbage into biofuels opened in Edmonton, Canada.

Using a system developed by Canadian clean technology company Enerkem, the facility will be able to convert 100,000 tons of solid waste into 38 million liters of biofuels. These biofuels (methanol and ethanol) can be used to create everything from ethanol-blended gasoline to windshield wiper fluid to paint. The City of Edmonton, which currently diverts up to 60 percent of landfill waste through recycling and composting, aims to increase this diversion rate to 90 percent by 2016.

Iowa Watch recently published an article that discussed the concept of converting waste into biofuels in Iowa. Much like with wind energy, Iowa has made proactive investments in biofuels. Iowa was second to Texas for biodiesel production capacity in 2013 and construction is wrapping up on a $200 million biodiesel facility in Neveda that is expected to be operational later this year.

For more information about the Canadian plant, check out this brochure and this article from the Edmonton Journal.

Government Shutdown Could Delay Keystone XL Pipeline Decision

Photo by openmediaboston; Flickr

The U.S. government shutdown is making it harder for the State Department to review the Keystone XL pipeline permit process, a State Department official said on Thursday, which could delay President Barack Obama’s decision on the project. Continue reading

On the Radio: Keystone XL Pipeline Protests

Photo by rickz; Flickr

This week’s On the Radio segment covers the debated Keystone XL pipeline. Listen to the audio below, or continue reading for the transcript.

Continue reading